Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWas Joe Cole wrong to leave West Ham in the first place? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Was Joe Cole wrong to leave West Ham in the first place? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Was Joe Cole wrong to leave West Ham in the first place?

When Joe Cole left West Ham in 2003, it was apparent that he left the club he had been at since he was 13 because they were relegated.

In the 2002-03 season, the Irons had current Premier League players like Michael Carrick and Glen Johnson as well as club legend Paolo Di Canio, but they couldn’t stay up. The latter two left in the summer of 2003 and Joe Cole followed.

Cole went on to win 10 trophies in 7 seasons at Chelsea, but he rarely played in the role he enjoyed at West Ham, and he was never really able to replicate the performances he showed – the same sort of performances that he had earned rave reviews for as a teenager.

He left Chelsea after falling out of favour and joined Liverpool on a free transfer, but his time at there was somewhat torrid. He got sent off in his first game for the Reds and didn’t play enough in his first season to show people what a quality player he can be, he was then loaned out to Lille in 2011 and managed to boost his reputation a little bit.

Sadly for Joe, a permanent deal couldn’t be agreed and he went back to Liverpool at the end of the 2011-12 season. Only 2 goals in 11 appearances this season for a player like Cole simply isn’t good enough and his lethargic performances were what forced him out of the Anfield exits and towards the place it all began for Cole; West Ham.

This leads to me to question – Why did he leave West Ham in the first place?

Obviously the appeal of European football helped him to decide that he wanted to move to Chelsea, but I think he moved too soon in his career. We’ll never know if he would have helped the Irons achieve promotion at the first time of asking, but the money Hammers gained from his transfer helped to make up for the monetary losses suffered because of relegation.

Cole will be welcomed with open arms by the West Ham fans, there is no doubt about that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends his career at the club. I don’t think he will get in the starting 11 ahead of Kevin Nolan, but Sam Allardyce’s faith in Ricardo Vaz Te will be tested with Joe Cole at the club as the right midfield position is most likely where he will play.

Vaz Te has been somewhat inconsistent so far this season, but the arrival of Joe Cole could be the kick up the backside he needs to get him into gear. He might have more of a chance of playing now that Yossi Benayoun has left the club, but the 31 year old can’t expect to walk into the team just because he’s Joe Cole.

Thomas Baxter